More Airlines Switching to Thinner Carbon Fiber Seats

Carbon Fiber Airline Seats Diagram

New, lighter and thinner carbon fiber seats allow airlines to squeeze more people onto flights, and several airlines have been retrofitting their cabins with these carbon fiber seats. The trend of thinner, lighter seats is spreading to smaller aircraft as well. With a weight savings of up to 20 lbs. per seat, small airlines like Allegiant are ditching aircraft galleys and the old, heavy seats in favor of these ultra-slim-line seats. An older aircraft that previously carried 150 passengers can now carry 166.

(From the Time Magazine article by Bill Saporito)
According to B/E Aerospace, using carbon fiber in place of metal can take about 10 lbs. out of a coach seat and allow more contouring and comfort. Not only is the resulting seat and seat back thinner, but less padding is required because the frame isn’t as hard.

‘The other thing that resonates with people when you start to slim down: you can increase the living space. The passenger has a perceptible difference,” says Tom Plant, the vice president and general manager of seating products for B/E Aerospace. Part of that perception comes from the fact that you are sitting farther back in the chair, and some airlines have changed the seat height slightly.

“We feel that these seats are ergonomic and more comfortable,” says Southwest Airlines spokesman Paul Flanagan. But in Southwest’s typically candid style he points out, “It’s basically a wash from a legroom standpoint.” Customers may not care, given that the added seats across the industry mean that you have a greater chance of sitting with loved ones. As a family, you’ll be closer. In some cases, much closer.

The lighter carbon fiber seats also allow for greater fuel economy per passenger, lowering the airlines’ costs.

(Article source: Time Magazine, October 22, 2012, By Bill Saporito, with Illustration by Heather Jones for Time Magazine)

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3 comments

1 Ron { 11.15.12 at 4:58 pm }

C**p. Another Wall Street moment. . .
Why don’t they think about their customers for a change and give them room for their knees, instead of just cramming more people in.

2 Sean Mastromatteo { 08.26.13 at 7:10 pm }

I agree 100% These business maniacs think only directly and old school, that you will only make money by cramming people into planes and to hell with Customer First thinking. The airline that finally sells its product back to Customer Centric is going to get all of Air Travel Business at this point. An Air Trip takes everything out of you by the time you arrive, you as bad as they treat you!!!

3 Lightweighting Trends in Aviation: Seating Systems … Size vs. Material – Dixien, LLC Blog { 07.14.16 at 7:25 pm }

[…] airlines have scrapped the older, bulkier seats opting instead for new, carbon fiber seats. In doing so, airlines can accommodate 16 additional passengers per flight. The newer […]

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